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25 out mid-month, giving customers until the end of the month A "casual" rider who averaged one round trip per week (14 days) to appeal. was given bronze status and one free round trip. A "frequent" rider who averaged three round trips per Twice each year the RTC generates a report that shows week was given silver status and five free round trips. how often passengers use the system and which passengers A "regular" rider who averaged four or more round trips have not accumulated any no-show points. Free ride coupons per week was given gold status and a free monthly para- are sent to those customers who have not accumulated any transit pass. no-show points based on their frequency of use: The 2003 policy was significantly different from the 2001 Passengers who have zero no-shows and make an aver- policy and is credited with achieving a 40% reduction in age of one round trip per week receive two free ride no-shows. In 2004, the UTA made some adjustments to its no- coupons. show policy in response to customer comments, but did not Passengers who make an average of three round trips change the Responsible Rider Program. Another enhancement per week with zero no-shows earn six free ride coupons. made in 2004 was to send free ride coupons to customers when Passengers who make an average of 5 round trips per the UTA missed a trip (defined as when the vehicle arrives 36 week with zero no-shows earn 10 free ride coupons. min or more after the agreed on pick-up time). The coupons can also be redeemed for the removal of no-show points. Accord- The no-show policy was adopted in February 2000. ing to the UTA, this has proven to be a very successful program According to the RTC, at the time program began, approxi- for customers, and the UTA has had the coupons used during mately 225 suspension notices were being issued each the third step of the appeals process for removal of points that month; currently, 50 or 60 suspension notices are issued per would have resulted in a service suspension. month, with no-shows averaging approximately 2.5% of all The UTA no-show policy is described in the transit scheduled trips. A total of 2,015 customers (49.4% of the agency's eligibility determination materials, rider brochures, 4,082 customers who made six or more trips in a 6-month and in newsletters and passenger bulletins. Overall, it is period) qualified last year for no-show incentive passes, and believed that the 2004 policy is working well. In the first half a total of 8,990 passes were awarded. of 2004 there were 51 Responsible Rider Program rewards. Of the registered riders, approximately 7% received service UTA suspension notices and 4% were repeat violators. The over- all no-show rate is approximately 1.3%; the combined In 2000, the UTA was experiencing a high volume of no-show/late cancellation rate is approximately 3.0%. no-shows, and the transit agency was contemplating a fare increase to help offset escalating costs. The agency estimated HIGHLIGHT 2: ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES that it was losing approximately $700,000 annually because of no-shows. In recent ADA compliance reviews, FTA suggested that transit agencies develop a method for relating the frequency Since 2000, the UTA no-show policy has undergone three of trip making to the calculation of no-show penalties and iterations. The initial policy was adopted in 2001 and was suspensions, but did not provide guidance on exactly what designed to emphasize a reduction in late cancellations, rate might be acceptable. For example, as described in chap- which were defined as cancellations occurring within 24 h of ter two, FTA commented in two ADA paratransit compli- a scheduled trip. The Late Cancellation and No Show Policy ance reviews that their no-show policies should consider how 2001 was developed in consultation with the UTA Commit- frequently a passenger uses the service, rather than keying tee on Accessible Transportation. The 2001 policy did not their policies to an absolute number. result in significant change and it was believed that no ser- vice suspensions were given during that time. In response to this finding, Tucson drafted a new no-show policy based on a point system, which was submitted to FTA In 2003, the UTA elected to develop a point system, in a quarterly progress report. However, in a December 2004 based on the model developed by the RTC in Las Vegas. In letter, FTA provided clarification of its request for corrective addition to working with the Committee on Accessible action and also pointed out that the severity of the suspension Transportation, the UTA hosted 15 town meetings to dis- (1 year for missing as few as 11 trips) was not reasonable. cuss the proposed policy changes. The 2003 policy also In the meantime, the transit agency developed a revised draft included a Responsible Rider Program, which rewarded policy, based on the percentage of trips resulting in no-shows. riders who had a minimum of six one-way trips in a Although the agency did not submit a response to the survey 6-month period and who had a good ridership record. the executive director of the ADA paratransit service did sub- A "good ridership record" was defined as not having any mit a copy of the revised draft no-show policy, which is no-shows on their record. The rewards were presented for described here. It should be noted that at the time this report three ridership levels: was completed FTA had not commented on the revised draft